Stats: Sri Lanka's captaincy woes in recent times

Stats: Sri Lanka’s captaincy woes in recent times

India travelled to Sri Lanka to face the home side led by Dinesh Chandimal in Tests and Upul Tharanga in limited-overs formats.

Lasith Malinga
Sri Lankan cricketer Lasith Malinga. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Sri Lankan team’s captaincy troubles continued as Lasith Malinga led the team for the first time in ODIs in the 4th ODI game against India at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Generally, teams announce the playing XI for their next game but the Sri Lankan team management has been announcing a new captain every game ever since Angelo Mathews stepped down from the post.

Team India travelled to Sri Lanka to face the home side led by Dinesh Chandimal in Tests and Upul Tharanga in limited-overs formats. But a viral fever put Chandimal out of the first Test and Rangana Herath took over the duties. Tharanga led his side in the first two ODI matches before he was banned from the next two for his team maintaining slow over-rate.

Chamara Kapugedera, who took up the role for the first time in the 3rd ODI, picked up an injury leaving it to Malinga to take over charge in the 4th match. Since the start of the Champions Trophy, India and Sri Lanka faced each other in eight Internationals matches while the Lankans have fielded six different captains with two matches to play in the tour.

Sri Lankan captains in their recent Internationals against India:

Captain Result Margin Toss Format Ground Start Date
SL Malinga lost 168 runs lost ODI Colombo (RPS) 31-Aug-2017
CK Kapugedera lost 6 wickets (29 balls) won ODI Pallekele 27-Aug-2017
WU Tharanga lost 3 wickets (16 balls) lost ODI Pallekele 24-Aug-2017
WU Tharanga lost 9 wickets (127 balls) lost ODI Dambulla 20-Aug-2017
LD Chandimal lost inns & 171 runs lost Test Pallekele 12-Aug-2017
LD Chandimal lost inns & 53 runs lost Test Colombo (SSC) 3-Aug-2017
HMRKB Herath lost 304 runs lost Test Galle 26-Jul-2017
AD Mathews won 7 wickets (8 balls) won ODI The Oval 8-Jun-2017


Malinga was the 6th player to lead Sri Lanka in any format in 2017 which equalled the record of most number of captains used by a team across formats in a calendar year. Zimbabwe and England used as many as six captains in 2001 and 2011 respectively.

Most number of captains in International cricket for a team in a calendar year:

Team Year Captains
Zimbabwe 2001 6
England 2011 6
Sri Lanka 2017 6
West Indies 1930 5
India 1959 5
Pakistan 1995 5
England 2001 5
West Indies 2007 5
Pakistan 2009 5
Pakistan 2010 5
South Africa 2014 5
Sri Lanka 2016 5


Sri Lanka using three captains in this series was only the 5th instance of a team playing with three captains in a bilateral ODI series. The last one was way back in 2001 when Zimbabwe needed the services of three captains in a 5-match series in England.

Three captains for a team in a bilateral ODI series:

Team Series Captain 1 Captain 2 Captain 3 Matches Year
West Indies Australia in West Indies Vivian Richards (2) Clive Lloyd (1) Michael Holding 4 1984
Pakistan Texaco Trophy (in England) Javed Miandad (3) Saleem Malik (1) Rameez Raja (1) 5 1992
Australia Australia in South Africa Mark Taylor (2) Ian Healy (4) Steve Waugh (1) 7 1997
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe in England Guy Whittall (1) Heath Streak (2) Alistair Campbell (1) 5 2001
Sri Lanka India in Sri Lanka Upul Tharanga (2*) Chamara Kapugedara (1) Lasith Malinga (1) 4* 2017


(Stats as on August 31, 2017)